How The Internet Has Put Powers Back Into Artists Hands
Image credit: Liver Tandy
Thanks to the internet it’s now easier to be heard, to create and to distribute your music.
Recently, we’ve reached out to a variety of DIY and independent artists across the world in our DIY Till We Die article series. Throughout the interviews, we discovered that thanks to the internet, being independent is now more viable than ever. Not just in terms of creativity but also with the tools now available to you. As an artist in today’s world, you have the unique advantage of being able to get your music heard by a global audience at the click of a button, there is also a litany of avenues in which your music can be heard, from multiple streaming services, YouTube and of course physical.
We’re More Connected Than Ever
For example, when talking to Lins Wilson of garage/psych-rock band Magick Mountain she explained that they had sent “vinyl out to US, Germany, Finland, France and more.”Being able to have their music heard by “online platforms” and see “people from all over the world enjoying it, buying it, adding to playlists, etc” has made it easier for them to identify where are viable places to tour once live music returns. “longer-term it could help DIY bands to target their live show efforts to places that are supporting them the most.” Lins adds, “that opportunity to reach people globally is really cool.”
We’re more connected than ever before too, each person is a tap of the screen way or an email away. Connecting has never been easier, as Martha McKay of Pretty Preachers Club explains: “Labels, Magazines, Journos, managers, and promoters are all an email away.”
The internet has also allowed for artists to have a viral moment, which they can use to gain massive traction to a huge audience. In turn, this leads to more fans, more streams, and hopefully more support and financial gains. As Milo Gore says: “Everyone is one click away from becoming viral!” A sentiment backed up by Rory Lethbridge of School Disco, “Anyone can have a viral moment now.”
The internet has also widened music fan’s genre tastes, there are now sub-cultures for a variety of sounds and genres. Space where bands can now exist and are represented with an online presence. As Rory explains: “There are so so so many people across the globe who are interested in all styles of music and there is a massive market to tap into. With more artist-focused platforms like Bandcamp, it’s never been easier to upload a track and see what happens. These platforms help artists’ communities grow and it’s an ever-improving one too.”
A Wealth Of Information
In today’s world artists must be able to act as a musician, press officer, booking agent, and social media manager (among many other roles). Thankfully the internet has yet again made this not so a daunting task. Planning a release normally means you’ll have to organize a solid press release and EPK (Electronic Press Kit), for more established artists you’d hire a freelance PR person or a company but thanks to the internet “there is a wealth of information and resources available that are great sources of information for DIY artists.”
Rory also adds: “Knowing and learning what a band does beyond recording music and playing live music is super important. Learning how to write emails, approach people, form relationships, write a press release are really important skills that go beyond just the music industry. Learning all of this and creating a network around the band to help move your career forward is super important. Doing things on your terms is important so if you do end up getting a manager or an agent you can be more engaged and know what’s going on. You don’t want to get left in the dust when things get more serious.“